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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to start building a 3D BG with foam/drylok for my 75G. I'm still undecided on whether or not to hide the filter intake tubes.

I won't hide the heaters, as I don't want the warm water to get trapped/stuck in the "caves."

Who has hidden their filters? How do you keep fish from going into the "caves" and getting stuck? Does it inhibit the uptake of detritus at all? Also, is it a pain to clean them?

Sorry for all the questions! I found plenty of info on how to make them, but not a lot on some of the specifics.
 

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I haven't made a DIY background using foam/drylok but have used real rock and cement on a 'frame' of egg crate (lighting grid).

The 1st one I made is for a 220G tank and consisted of 3 panels that were space a few inches from the back of the tank, siliconed along the 2 short ends of the tank and had three 3"H x 5" long sections of egg crate exposed to allow water to get behind to reach the intake strainers of the filters. It works great BUT does allow sand substrate and fry/juveniles to get behind the background as well as some adults that have just enough space to jump over the top. Can't get a net back there easily plus not much room to work at all as I can barely get my arm in the narrow space.

The 2nd one I made for a 125G tank and placed the background right up against the back glass panel, only using silicone sealant along the top edge. I made this background shorter in length so I could place the 2 filter intakes at either end of the tank where there is no background. I did have to remove a bit of rock at the top to allow placement of the filter returns. This version worked much better and I never saw any fish behind the background when I had to tear it down to a tank leak.

Both these tanks had Hydor ETH inline heaters installed on the canister filters so no in the tank heaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! I'm sure the real rocks look amazing!

I would be siliconing it directly to the back wall, and only plan to build it out 1-2" to save on precious floor space. The more I think about it, the more I think letting all the equipment show will be easier for designing and maintaining.
 

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If you are talking about hiding the filter instake / tube? I've done that on some of my backgrounds I have done for people. I think I have some pics someone of what I did to hide it. Gimme a bit to see if I can located them they are prob on my computer somewhere just have to dig a bit.
 

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Found them. This is how I hide the intake tube for one of my customers canister filters in a 90g tank that he had me build for him. Basically what I did was I did the background across the whole back of the tank like normal but before carving a added an angled side panel that connected from the back board of the background to the side of the tank. On the bottom of that I capped it off with a triangle piece of foam and the drilled a hole in that bottom piece so that the instake tube just fit through it nice and snug. Once the tube was slid through then the strainer was put on the tube from inside the tank. That made the whole compartment that covered the tube completely sealed so no fish or waste could get into it. I painted the side of the take to hide it from the side and make it look nice and clean. Also painted the strainer to match the BG so you really couldn't even tell where the intake was unless you really looked for it.



 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That looks really good! You can barely see it.

I will be running one canister and one HOB, so I have a feeling hiding the HOB would be the real challenge. Probably not worth it.

I may do a partial/asymmetrical BG with a basic black BG behind it to better hide the intakes/heaters.
 
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